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Capping Agents Enable Well-Dispersed and Colloidally Stable Metallic Magnesium Nanoparticles.

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Wayman, Thomas MR 
Lomonosov, Vladimir 


Mg nanoparticles are an emerging plasmonic material due to Mg's abundance and ability to sustain size- and shape-dependent localized surface plasmon resonances across a broad range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. However, Mg nanoparticles are colloidally unstable due to their tendency to aggregate and sediment. Nanoparticle aggregation can be inhibited by the addition of capping agents that impart surface charges or steric repulsion. Here, we report that the common capping agents poly(vinyl) pyrrolidone (PVP), polyethylene glycol (PEG), cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB), and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) interact differently and have varied effects on the aggregation and colloidal stability of Mg nanoparticles. Nanoparticles synthesized in the presence of PVP showed improvements in colloidal stability and reduced aggregation, as observed by electron microscopy and optical spectroscopy. The binding of PVP was confirmed through infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The influence of PVP on the reduction of di-n-butyl magnesium was evaluated through analysis of particle size distribution and Mg yield as a function of reaction time, reducing agent, and temperature. Furthermore, the presence of PVP drastically changes the growth pattern of metallic Mg structures obtained from the reduction of the Grignard reagents butylmagnesium chloride and phenylmagnesium chloride by lithium naphthalenide: large polycrystalline aggregates and well-separated faceted nanoparticles grow without and with PVP, respectively. This study provides new synthetic routes that generate colloidally stable and well-dispersed Mg nanoparticles for plasmonic and other applications.


Publication status: Published


3403 Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, 34 Chemical Sciences, 3406 Physical Chemistry, 40 Engineering, 4018 Nanotechnology, Bioengineering, Nanotechnology

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J Phys Chem C Nanomater Interfaces

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American Chemical Society (ACS)
European Research Council (804523)
EPSRC (EP/W015986/1)